CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Calgary’s mandatory mask bylaw came into effect today in indoor public spaces and on transit for anyone over the age of two.
The temporary bylaw was passed last week to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Calgary following a recent spike.
Residents will be required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth in all retail stores, bars, restaurants, on buses, in taxis and more.
#CTRiders, beginning today, August 1, face coverings will be mandatory on all of our vehicles. While face coverings work best when everyone wears them, please be mindful of those that can't wear one due to a medical reason, disability or otherwise. Info: https://t.co/SQD98D3yeA pic.twitter.com/Gzg4WuFXBq
— Calgary Transit (@calgarytransit) August 1, 2020
People who are unable to place, use or remove a face covering safely without assistance are exempt from the bylaw. Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he hopes Calgarians will not try to take advantage of that exemption.
“I’m hopeful that this is not going to be a big deal, that people will be honest and they’ll say, ‘it’s very hard for me to wear a mask – I have this condition or that condition,’” said Nenshi. “But I’ll remind you that folks who have respiratory conditions and don’t want to wear a mask are actually the people who are at the most risk.”
Nenshi says bus drivers can provide masks if needed and will deny boarding to anyone not wearing a mask.
The mayor also clarified what the bylaw means for bars and restaurants.
“You have to wear one into the restaurant,” said Nenshi. “You have to wear one if you go to the bathroom. You have to wear one if you’re chatting with somebody at another table, which you shouldn’t be doing anyway. But once you’re seated at the table or seated at the bar, you can take your mask off.”
Those not complying with the bylaw could face a $50 fine. Businesses that do not display proper signage could face a $200 fine.
All those details and more are available on the City of Calgary website.
Edmonton’s mandatory mask bylaw also came into effect Saturday. Meanwhile Banff’s bylaw began Friday, which includes all public indoor spaces as well as the outdoor pedestrian zone on Banff Avenue.